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ASHES57 X Mimm

February 04, 2021

ASHES57 X Mimm

Our first collaboration in celebration of our 10 year anniversary is with artist Ashes57. She first worked with us on an exhibition way back in the beginning in 2011, so it felt only right to reunite now we’re turning 10. Ashes57 has worked with the likes of Wu-Tang, Loefah and DJ Rashad on music, cover art and everything in between. She has designed a collection of t shirts, hoodies and a tote bag which are available for pre-order now. We caught up below to see how things have changed since our last exhibition as we continue to create together.
Can you introduce yourself to the Mimm readers?
My name is Ashes57, I am from France, Europe. I am a graphic artist, photographer, videographer and label manager for Teklife Records. I was the in-house designer for Swamp 81 for many years. I do a lot of different things; it is hard to put one label on my work. 
 
Your work spans across the arts with the core inspiration being music, what started your love for music?
I always loved music. I grew up in France and music was very exclusive then.  We couldn’t download tracks like we can now, we had to dig to find music or meet the right people. I didn’t like commercial radio, I didn’t like pop music. When I was 9 or 10, I got hold of a tape player and my uncle gave me a K7 tape of Jean Michel Jarr. It was so trippy and experimental, I think that was my introduction to electronic music.  After that I was always on the lookout for new beat. I can spend days on my drawings, so it gives me time to listen. And somehow it influenced my drawings. The lyrics sometimes make their way into my vision.
 
Since first working with us in 2011, how do you feel you have grown as an artist?
A lot of things have happened since I had my show at Mimm in 2011. My portfolio is way bigger now, I had about 100 exhibitions in between but my style is the same. I just have way more drawings and I paint bigger.
 
You have still been creating through the pandemic, have you found it hard to find inspiration?
Of course, I am drawing every day. It is not hard to find inspiration, I just have to look out my window and I always find something new to draw. But I haven’t been painting much since the pandemic. Just because I usually paint canvas in the view of an exhibition. We have still no idea when things will be better, so I have just been concentrating on doing more detailed illustration work which is the roots of my art. 
 
Throughout your career you have had many collaborations, which has been your favourite one?
I loved working with DJ Rashad, he was so chill and fun. He just had to play my some of his music and millions of ideas would pop up in my mind. But I also love working with Loefah. Somehow our visions are merging and completing. 
 
What is the best thing about living in New York?
The city is very beautiful, I can look at it from every borough and I still think it is pretty. Every morning when I get up, I feel blessed to be here. But Covid has turned the city to a ghost town, shops are closing, everything is closing early. It is not how people know the city. But I still love it, and I have this urge that I want to draw every corner of New York. Right now, I feel very privileged to be able to discover the city without all the tourists.
 
How did you develop your unique style?
It is hard to explain why I have decided to choose this way. People talk about your style but really it is a line of your character. It’s what I could contribute. I love posca pens and I think that is how I really developed my style. But even when I paint, it comes out this way, so it might be in my DNA. 
 
Who is your creative inspiration?
Ricky Powell, Shepard Fairey and Roy Lichtenstein are 3 crucial artists who inspired me. RIP to Ricky Powell. He had this book called Public Access which really blew up my mind because he collaborated with artists in an original way, illustrations and photography were merged together. I thought that was genius. Shepard Fairey, for the poster art. I was so happy when he invited me to his LA studio to do an internship when I was at the beginning of my career. His work and way of working taught me everything about work ethic. And Roy Lichtenstein because before him illustration wasn’t art. Still for many people illustration is not art. Which is kinda crazy. 
 
What advice would you give to young creatives?
Listen to your heart and you will find all your answers.
 
What can we expect from you in the future?
I am starting a new radio residency at Kiosk Radio, I will have a monthly show on the series called OUTSIDERS. Coming up soon is a new cover art I did for a vinyl of Gant-Man feat Loefah and Kode 9. That’s on Teklife Records. Besides this, it is hard to plan too much because of Covid. In person exhibitions are kinda difficult right now.
 
Words by Phoebe Patrick
 
ORDER ASHES57 X MIMM 10TH ANNIVERSARY RELEASE HERE



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